Cross Country Road Trip.
15 States, 45 hours :
Massachusetts Rhode Island
Conneticut New York
New Jersey Delaware
North Carolina Tennessee
New Mexico Arizona
[Saturday, January 2; 10:00 am]
Frantically packing because I’m supposed to hit the road by 12:30 pm. 12:30 rolls around my bestfriend shows up, the little kids I babysit, Keeb, H, my family, everyone I love in one place. Looks like I’m not leaving until 5. Dad orders Nachos, Wings, Quesadilla’s all the healthy stuff. A birthday cake is lit up to celerbate my not so little sisters 18th birthday, gifts are exchanged along with several laughs but even more tears. 4 o’clock hits, Kylee leaves for music. Hardest goodbye, over with. Heading back to the family and friends thinking I’ve pulled myself together, nope tears start flowing again. Final goodbyes are said along with a “GET THE F*CK OUTTA HERE”, from dad to lighten the mood. Now we’re on the road. Within what seemed like minutes we were in Rhode Island, Connecticut and then New York. While dad was on cruise control I was surfing the ‘web’, responding to all the amazing, heartfelt good luck messages I had recieved throughout the day. Ugh, I freaking love my friends. Starting to doubt myself and the move I think to myself; WHY THE HELL AM I DOING THIS? Trying to clear the anxiety I start making jokes with my dad and before we know it we’ve passed MetLife stadium, drove through Delaware and were now passing the Ravens stadium. The hunger kicks in. 7 States down, 8 to go. The nachos and wings are no longer going to suffice the hunger for the night. Seeing as we ate them around 3 and it’s now midnight (we’ve drove 8 hours already!?).
Dad insists we stop at a Waffle House. Dad’s driving, it’s his choice. So, we pull off the highway upon passing the nearest Waffle House. We’re in Virginia, this place gives off awful vibes. We walk into Waffle House, i’ll have you know this was my first Waffle House experience. Greeted by Timothy, who has a camo jumpsuit on, a southern accent and a tear drop tattoo just under his left eye… My hands begin shaking. “You’re just hungry you haven’t eaten since 3”, says Dad. My inner anxiety screaming hungry my ass, this is the weirdest place, state, restaurant EVER. After drinking probably 5 waters as a result of my anxiousness we get our food, pay the lovely Timothy, I stop shaking and we’re back on the road. Due to the lack of positive energy I was feeling during what seemed like our endless drive through Virginia, Dad now on board with my thoughts of this state being crazy we decide to drive straight through to North Carolina. Once the “Welcome to NC” sign appeared we pulled off the dark, spooky highway and found a Hampton Inn. Feeling skittish from my Waffle House experience I made sure we parked my car full of what I would consider my life in front of the lobby incase anyone sketchy decided to try and break in. It took me about 4 hours to fall asleep. Fell asleep at 7 am that night and woke up at 9:30 am. Safe to say I took a two hour cat nap.
[Sunday, January 3; 9:30 am]
Feeling groggy we decided to search for a coffee shop nearby. IdkCoffee was the name of the shop, sounds cute right? We pull up to the shop which looks similar to an old country store. Walking in with an open mind only to be absolutely blind-sided. This coffee shop 150% violates the health code, health inspection whatever it is. I ask the guy behind the counter what’s popular here: his response a little bit of this a little bit of that. Okay, thanks for the suggestion bro. Next question. Are you from around here? his response; no down the street. Anyways, this so called IdkCoffee shop is I don’t know definitily not a coffee shop! But instead someone’s house? The fridge he got our coffee from was an actual home fridge, ice cubes were popped directly from the freezer tray, oh and the cream cheese I used to spread on my bagel that I TOASTED IN A POP UP TOASTER, was a block of cream cheese already opened and used by who knows. My dad used the bathroom and on his way saw a guy passed out in one of the many rooms on a couch with beer cans surrounding him. So I obviously then went to the bathroom to see that beautiful sight. The bathroom had old bath and body works products for sale. “3 for $4”, classy. Well safe the say we got the hell out of there, and threw away our coffees as dad said they “tasted like the bottom of someones foot”.
After our disatourous coffee’s the trip hit a turning point. We met up with my dads awesome friend who lives in Charlotte, NC. We got will call tickets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers v NC Panthers game. We spent the day eating tacos in the beautiful city of Charlotte. The city actually reminded me of Melbourne, Australia, very clean and modern. Dad and I left at halftime. We took one of the bicycle cart rides from the stadium to the car. The guy was legitametly HAULING. I think I bruised my tailbone from one of the 30 pot holes he hit while going about 35 mph. On the road again, we drove through the Great Smoky Mountains. These mountains were insane. There were nets along the sides incase you decided to flip your car. The speed limit, “own risk”.
We made it through the Smoky Mountains and crossed into Tennessee. Hungry, once again… we decided to stop at one of Dads favorites – Texas Road House. After inhaling the fried Cactus blossom, cinnamon buttered rolls, a filet and baked potato, we hit the road to find a hotel. In our journey to find a hotel we passed the Nissan stadium and drove through Nashville, TN. We stopped by Belmont University to check out the school where my sister got accepted to attend their music program! The school was beautiful, looked like something out of those movies that make college campuses look 1,000x better than they actuallly are in real life. We drove through the town, keep in mind it was 12 am on a Sunday, it was poppin’. Driving down Broadway with my head halfway out the window as if I was a dog, just checking out the bar scene. Every single bar had live music, live country music of course. Finally we stopped for the night. We stopped at a Holiday Inn Express of the highway which was conviently located next to a Dunkin Donuts which we obviously got in the morning.
[Monday, January 4; 9:00 am]
Dad ordered at the drive thru and the woman asked “are you from Boston?” Yup, they knew. While devouring my bagel, extra toasted with cream cheese on the side I noticed the truck in front of us had something blowing around on top of it. Well that happened to be a dead deers white tail – DISGUSTING.
After the dead deer sighting we stopped at Graceland to check out Elvis’ beautiful estate. His house was dope. Both my dad and I were shocked to find ourselves standing at Elvis gravesite upon the conclusion of the guided-tour. After exploring Elvis’s Graceland we decided to hit the Checkers drive-thru for some healthy burgers, fries and milkshakes. Although the milkshake didn’t move and I probably got one sip out of the straw every 30 minutes, the fries were BOMB. After eating our Checkers on the road we passed the sign for Arkansas while crossing the Mississippi River. Dad and I had a very intellectual conversation while crossing the Mississippi River. I had mentioned how majority of my history teachers were boring during my years in school and he said “Most history teachers are boring because they live in the past.” He also said he felt like Christopher Columbus while crossing the Mississippi. Oh, and that “Boron” – is a boring moron – Words of Steve Rollins.Next, we drove through Texas. We passed what seemed like the 10th NFL stadium of the trip – AT&T stadium. After driving through Dallas we stopped at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Weatherford, TX where the bartneder was the nicest lady ever. Her brother in law lives in Queensland, her husbands from Louisiana, and we bonded over sweet tea talk. My dad and I had a revelation realizing that they live 5.5 hours from the ocean. Also, that 5.5 hours away from a body of water is WAY to far from water and that, that’s why we both felt clausterphobic… not taking into consideration that it was probably because my car was packed to the roof with my belongings and we had been driving for over 24 hours at this point.Realizing we needed gas after dinner we stopped at a Tiger Mart. Gas was $1.65! Basically $24 for a full-tank. We continued driving until we found a Counrtyard Inn which happened to be a brand new hotel. We got upgraded to a suite and the bed was phenomenal.
[Tuesday, January 5; 9:30 am]
The next morning we got our stabucks fix from the hotel lobby and hit the road for I-20W. I-20W has windmills, more windmills, cotton fields, oil pumps, a dead cow or two and more oil pumps. This was the most BORING part of the trip. For about 8 hours I looked at the same thing while riding shotgun. The service was terrible, talk about 0 LTE. I tried watching the Bachelor on the ABC app. It took 3 states to get through one episode. Moral of the story if you’re addicted to your phone, switch from sprint and don’t move to the mid-west. While in western Texas we pulled off the highway and explored a little of the abandonded Van Horn. Aside from empty buildings there was a Wendy’s. Where we stopped to get chicken sandwhiches. While in Wendy’s I saw ANOTHER tear-drop tattoo. We got back on the road and passed a hitch-hiker who my dad joking almost picked up in El Paso.
Getting close to California we entered New Mexico, where I was STILL trying to finish the same episode from Monday Night’s Bachelor. New Mexico sucked, their license plates are cool and my starbucks was good but that’s about it. Next we arrived in Arizona. We stopped in Tucson, got some cheesecake for the road from the Cheesecake Factory and went on with our journey. Leaving Tucson was the worst decision we made on the trip. Not realizing the next area of civilization from Tucson to California was Yuma, AZ which was 3 hours from Tucson. We popped in the movie “GET HARD” with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart to kill time on our late night journey to Yuma. Until the craziest rain storm EVER hit. I immediately shut the computer and turned to my dad, who was basically asleep at the wheel in a panic. Thankful for the rain storm hitting because it snapped my dad and I out of our basically unconscious state of mind. Finally arriving at Yuma we crashed at Spring Hill Suites.
[Wednesday, January 6; 10:00 am]
The final stretch. With only 4 hours left we were on the cusp of making it to San Diego. For the first two hours driving through California I was confused. I had never been to the “eastern” side of California before. Holy mountains and cactus farms. We drove through the Devils Cannon which was totally mortifying due to the fact that we were about 2 minutes away from running out of gas.
Suddenly while getting gas it was as if a tornado struck. There were crazy winds, rain, we were basically driving in the clouds. I was scared. With that being said, we FINALLY arrived to San Diego. Where I had my first of several meltdowns to happen. This move was not an easy transition upon arrival. Shoutout to my amazing dad for dealing with my hot mess of an anxious self. For driving across the country and for being the janitor upon arrival. From spray painting the rust off the fridge, to hanging curtains, to moping the floors, to sticking by my side the whole way words cannot express how grateful I am to have you as a dad.
Another shout out to my mom for flying out just days after I arrived in SoCal to help me settle in and make the place feel more like home. From shopping to trying to squeeze in hikes thanks for taking the time, effort and having the patience to deal with me during this big move! You truely are the best I love you both! Now, more to come on my new place and settling in to this beautiful new city!